Twitter updates verification policy
SAN FRANCISCO • Twitter has updated its policy for removing the verification of a user's identity, saying it can pull the blue check mark without notice for behaviour including promoting hate or inciting harassment of others.
While "verification has long been perceived as an endorsement", Twitter's support account wrote in a tweet on Wednesday , "this perception became worse when we opened up verification for public submissions and verified people who we in no way endorse".
Earlier this month, it stopped the system of authenticating a user's identity with a blue check mark after drawing criticism for verifying the account of the man accused of orchestrating the white supremacist rally in August in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Same-sex marriage law by December
MELBOURNE• • Australian lawmakers yesterday vowed to push through laws legalising same-sex marriage by early next month, after a national survey found most Australians favoured it.
Both Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Liberal-National coalition government and the main opposition Labor Party said they were aiming to pass the law in Parliament by Dec 7.
Final death toll in London tower fire: 71
LONDON• • The final death toll from the fire that destroyed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower social housing block in west London in June is 71, police said yesterday after five months of painstaking search and recovery operations.
The police had previously said about 80 people died in the blaze. Officers say all who died in the fire have been recovered and identified.
Aussie diplomat in accidental fatal fall
NEW YORK• • An Australian diplomat accidentally fell five floors to his death from the deck of his New York City home during a social gathering with his wife and friends, police said.
Mr Julian Simpson, 30, plummeted from a seventh-floor balcony to a second-floor landing on Wednesday at the 19-storey apartment building in the Lower East Side neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York police said.
Mr Simpson was a junior diplomat with the Australian Mission to the United Nations. He had been sitting on the balcony railing and lost his balance, a New York police spokesman said.